By Theodore Shoebat
Europe, for millennia, has had wars. Before the US existed, Europeans were at war. Now all of a sudden the masses in the US, with their excitement for Trump, think the Europeans are cowards. Trump with his “pay your fair share” for defense talk has helped unleash the European beast.
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, recently said that the time has come for “a real European army”, essentially calling for a pan-European force. A report from TIME Magazine states:
Agence France-Presse reports that while on a tour of World War I memorials Tuesday, Macron said: “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.”
Macron has advocated for the mobilization of a collective European force since his election last year. But those calls may be received with more urgency after President Trump announced last month that the U.S. would pull out of a Cold War era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia. Trump has also displayed a tepid attitude in the past towards NATO’s mutual defense commitments.
Macron also said that Europe needs to be ready to “[defend] itself better alone, without just depending on the United States,” which is really a reflection of Germany’s own desire to be independent of American control, as was expressed by Angela Merkel when she said early this year: “It is no longer such that the United States simply protects us, but Europe must take its destiny in its own hands, that’s the task of the future”.
France and Germany are collaborating to make a pan-European military force. They say that this is to make Europe independent of the United States security umbrella. But ultimately this is about Germany establishing itself as the head of a pan-European army, independent of the United States. What has helped fuel all of this is the Trump administration’s continual push for Europe to ‘pay its fair share.’ Germany is simply taking this to her advantage and using it as an excuse to boost up her own military power.
Macron brought up Russia to justify the reasoning behind the formation of a pan-European army, saying:
“Faced by Russia, which is on our borders and which has shown that it can be threatening… we need to have a Europe that can better defend itself by itself, without depending solely on the United States.”
The pointing to Russia as justification for martial measures in France goes back to the Cold War. I am speaking about the Gladio operations in which NATO backed and armed Right-wing secret armies or “stay behinds,” to use them in the case of a Soviet invasion of Europe.
GLADIO IN FRANCE
After the Second World War, France was faced with an unstable political and military situation. Numerous political factions rivaled for influence. On the Left-wing side, there were the Communists who, known for their anti-Fascist resistance against the pro-Nazi Vichy government, still had lots of popularity amongst the populace.
When Charles de Gaulle was prime minister of France, he had two Communist ministers in his cabinet. In November 1994, de Gaulle was supposedly able to convince the tenacious French Communist resistance fighters to hand over their weapons and promise a stable democratic election. In the municipal elections of the spring of 1945, there was a strong victory for the French Communist Party (PCF), which took thirty percent of the vote. This support for the Communists showed itself again in France’s national elections on October of 1945 which saw the Communists take twenty-six percent of the vote. De Gaulle refused to give ministerial positions in his cabinet to members of the French Communist Party. Nonetheless, four PCF politicians were given four posts: economy, armaments, industrial production and labor. The PCF bickered loudly that they were given only four positions.
Conservatives of the French populace were, understandably, very worried about the growing fanaticism of the PCF, especially after the Communist dominated French parliament passed two bills, one which reduced executive power and another that cut the military budget by twenty percent. After these two bills got passed, de Gaulle resigned on January of 1946. The PCF proposed to divide the ministries of the executive among the Communists and the Socialists. But the French Socialists objected because they knew that if France became a full Left-wing Communist country it would not receive American aid, which the country desperately needed. The popularity for the Communists in France showed again in November of 1946 when the Communist Party won twenty nine percent of the vote in the parliamentarian election.
The US ambassador to France, Jefferson Caffery — who was himself an ardent anti-Communist — sent numerous messages to President Truman about Communist power in France. Washington was determined to purge Communist control in the French government. General Hoyt Vandenberg, the head of the CIG (the predecessor of the CIA), said that the PCF could take over the French government, but did not have the intention to do a coup d’etat. “The failure of the Communists to seize power in these circumstances,” said Vandenberg, “is attributed to (1) their appreciation that it is preferable to attain it by legal processes, and (2) the fact that to do so would be contrary to the present policy of the kremlin.”
The US government, alongside the British SAS, formed a secret army of French conservatives and Right-wingers, with the title of “Plan Bleu” (Blue Plan). The aim of this secret army was to prevent the French Communist Party from taking power over the French government, or really from becoming a puppet state of the Soviets. Victor Vergnes, a member of the French secret army, was with one “commander Benet,” a member of the General Directorate for Studies and Research (DGER), a branch of French intelligence at the time, who was approached by one Earl Jellicoe, a member of the SAS. After this meeting, Benet told Vergnes: “We are setting up a secret army, especially in the Bretagne area”. Cells of this secret army, or “stay behinds,” were formed throughout France.
There lied a problem for the Americans and that was that the DGER had Communists in its ranks. So the DGER was closed down in 1946 and replaced by the staunch anti-Communist SDECE or the External Documentation and Counter-Espionage Service under Henri Alexis Ribiere. Trained fighters who fought for the Right-wing side of the Greek Civil War were recruited into the SDECE. The backing Greek Right-wing fighters was part of the Cold War strategy against the Soviets who, on the other side, backed Left-wing fighters. This US’ policy was part of the American backing of the German currency, and this involved the empowering of Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. As Yanis Varoufakis writes:
“There was one other crucial factor that lay behind the United States’ commitment to Germany: the Cold War. What most people forget is that my tiny nation had been the harbinger of this larger drama too. The first clash between East and West occurred in the streets of Athens in the aftermath of the Nazis’ April 1944 withdrawal, and it involved right-wingers supported by Britain and left-wing partisans supported by the USSR. These clashes reached a crescendo in December 1944, culminating later in Greece’s sordid 1946-1949 civil war that left every Greek family I know indelibly marked.”
In May of 1947, Prime Minister Ramadier, ousted out the Communist members of his cabinet. The move illustrated the power of the United States, since it was the US government, by threat of removing aid, who pressured France to do this. On June of 1947, the French Socialist minister of interior, Edouard Depreux, declared that there was a conspiracy being done by a Right-wing secret army — consisting of Vichi (which is pro-Nazi) collaborators and monarchists (radical traditionalists, like Action Française or Civitas today) with the objective of destabilizing the French government. “Towards the end of 1946 we got to know of the existence of a black resistance network, made up of resistance fighters of the extreme-right, Vichy collaborators and monarchists,” said Depreux. “They had a secret attack plan called ‘Plan Bleux’”.
The conspiracy of Plan Blue was to commit acts of terrorism, blame them on the left and form the chaotic situation where a coup could be done — a “strategy of tension.” Many weapons were found in possession of these secret armies. An investigation had been done by, ironically, Henri Alexis Ribiere, the very person chosen to lead the anti-Communist SDECE. Ribiere concluded: “The arms which were found all over the country had been paid in parts by London and Washington. Yet they had been provided to resist the Communists, and not to stage a coup d’etat.”
In 1947, Communists were purged from the government while Right-wingers were promoted, such as Jean Dides, an official of the pro-Nazi Vichy government whose job was to repress anti-Nazi resistance, and who later cooperated with the OSS and became an activist for Charles de Gaulle. Dides was given the position in the clandestine French paramilitary anti-Communist police unit led by Interior Minister Jules Moch. In 1949, the US embassy in France cabled the US State Department in Washington that “to fight the danger of Communism, France has organised cells of restrained but efficient policemen. …Also Italy is erecting such anti-Communist police squads under the control of Interior Minister Mario Scelba, using commanders of the former fascist police.”
According to Intelligence Newsletter, a Paris based publication, “a director of French Intelligence at the time had offered to place at the disposal of the CIA some 10,000 trained and armed ‘patriotic’ troops, outside the ranks of the French armed forces” trained to strike “in case a Communist government came to power”. Not all of these fighters were Nazis, as many of them were veterans of the French anti-Nazi resistance. They just hated Communism and that is completely understandable.
What was being done in France was part of a greater Gladio conspiracy being conducted by NATO. As General Umberto Broccoli said in October 1951, in a letter to Defense Minister Luigi Efisio Marras, secret armies or stay-behinds were in Denmark, Norway, Belgium and also “France has already organized operations in Germany and Austria, as well as on its own national territory up to the Pyrenees.” (See Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, ch. 7)
Is Macron part of some Gladio type conspiracy to use the ‘threat’ of Russia as a push for French militarism? Its very popular and would not be surprising at all, given how much political control the United States has had over France.
FRANCE IS CONTROLLED BY THE GERMANS
The plan for a pan-European army is being portrayed as a Franco-German strategy. While the French have been vocal in their support for a European army, the top partner in this enterprise will be Germany, the most dominant country in the European continent. The French, regardless of what they say, are slaves to the Germans. Craig R. Whitney, in his article published by the New York Time, writes that the Bundesbank determines “monetary policy in Germany, and to a large extent all of Europe”.
When the British joined the European Monetary System in 1990, they did so because John Majors, the President of the Exchequer, believed that linking up the British sterling with the German mark was a way to control British inflation. The value of the French franc was determined by the value of the German mark. This strategy to base a country’s currency on the German mark was believed to be so successful that in 1997, in Maastricht, the Netherlands, leaders of the European Community decided to establish a common currency, which would be the euro.
Before the euro, European countries had to pin their currencies on the German mark, and that meant either printing more money to match the value of the mark, or increasing interest rates (the price of money) to match the value of German mark. Even though Germany lost the war, its currency would gain its supremacy.
We can see this in the financial tensions between the French and the Germans. In 1992, there was a debate in France on whether or not to join the Maastricht agreement, which would be the foundation for the formation of the European Union. France was going to have a referendum on this issue, with the vote for not entering the Maastricht Treaty appearing high in the poles.
Francois Mitterand, the president of France at the time and a pioneer behind the idea of the euro (alongside Helmut Kohl), wanted to reverse this and raise the support for France entering the Maastricht Treaty. There was a television debate between Mitterand and Philippe Seguin, who said that Mitterand had submitted to an undemocratic European Central Bank. Mitterand argued that the European Central Bank was not anti-democratic, by saying that the ones who would decide economic policy for France would not be an outside banking power, but the French politicians. Those opposing the Maastricht treaty saw it as an encroachment on French sovereignty. Mitterand tried to disprove this by arguing that French elected politicians would have control over financial policy. “The people”, said Mitterand, “who decide economic policy, of which monetary policy is no more than a means of implementation, are the politicians.”
Such words angered the Germans in the Bundesbank, since they were exasperated by the idea of French politicians dictating their decisions. Money traders wanted to “test” the Bundesbank, to see if it would help the currency of another European country. They betted against the Italian lira by borrowing liras and exchanging them for German marks, having enough money to pay back the loans and still have profit. As an article from the New York Times reads:
“Sensing weakness, investors started betting on a devaluation by the most feeble economies — namely, Britain and Italy — in the late summer of 1992. Devaluation would be a confession of political bankruptcy by Prime Minister John Major and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont, and they were practically screaming for a break from the Germans.”
The Germans did not come to the aid of the Italians, and the lira, in the words of Yanis Varoufakis, “was pulverized. Nothing that the Italian central bank could do, not even raising interest rates from 1.75 percent to 15 percent, helped restore the lira’s deutsche mark value.” Norman Lamont, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, pressed Helmut Schlesinger, the head of the Bundesbank, to lower down interest rates. “Every finance minister here wants you to cut your rates,” shouted Lamont. But Schlesinger was obstinate. Lowering interest rates would increase inflation for Germany and the rest of Europe. Theo Waigel, who was Germany’s finance minister, placed his hand on Lamont and said: “My dear Norman … you have asked us that question four times, and four times we have given you the same answer. We do not see the need for wasting any more time.”
The British greatly struggled to keep sterling up with the deutschmark which was on the rise thanks to the very powerful Bundesbank which was ratcheting up German interest rates to manage the cost of Germany’s recent reunification. The British thought that they could beat the deutschmark, only to get dominated in the end. The British could not maintain their pounds to be worth 2.95 deutschmarks each. But, economies depend heavily on the psychology of the people. The value of currency, like stocks and bonds, is determined by optimism.
The British believed that as long as people perceived that England was committed to buying pounds for around 2.95 deutschemarks each, then the status quo would be maintained. This was kept up, until the summer of 1992 when the Germans deliberately made the British pound collapse. The Germans did this by sending messages to the press predicting that the pound was going to diminish, and thereby ruining optimism for the British currency. For example, an official from the Bundesbank, who spoke anonymously, told the press that “the devaluation of sterling was inevitable.”
The Germans gave a direct hit to the pound when the president of the Bundesbank, Helmut Schlesinger, did an interview with the Wall Street Journal and a German publication. He agreed to the interview only under one condition: if the journalists wanted to quote him directly, he would have to review the statements first, but if they decided to just paraphrase his statements then no review was necessary. In the evening of September 16th, 1992, a paraphrasing of the statement from Schlesinger went out to the newswires:
“The President of the Bundesbank, Professor Helmut Schlesinger, does not rule out the possibility that, even after the realignment and the cut in German interest rates, one or two currencies could come under pressure before the referendum in France. He conceded in an interview that the problems are of course not solved completely by the measures taken.”
When morning came, the report was on George Soros’ desk. The wolves smelled blood. In 1992, Britain was heavily impacted by a global recession, with the unemployment rate spiking to 12.7%. With the weakening of the British pound, out came the wolves — the speculators — with George Soros as head of the pack. Soros believed that the British pound was one of currencies that Schlesinger predicted “could come under pressure”. Soros, in 1992, was a 62 year old currency predator who ran the Quantum Fund, a hedge fund he founded in 1970 that bet on macroeconomic trends, or in the words of Rohin Dhar: “investing capital to make a specific bet that something will happen.”
Since August, Soros’ hedge fund was amassing a $1.5 billion position to bet that the price of Sterling would fall. However, the British were still saying that the pound would not fall, making the crash of the pound more difficult. But, Stanley Druckenmiller, a senior member of Soros’ fund, read Schlesinger’s statement and knew at that point that betting $1.5 billion against the pound would make it fall. Soros’ said: “Go for the jugular.” Soros’ would increase his bet against the pound from $1.5 billion to $10 billion. As Dhar explains:
“Soros and his fund increased their short position against the British pound from $1.5 to $10 billion. It was the perfect bet with a mitigated downside and a limitless upside. It was like betting on a coin flip, were if the coin lands on heads (the pound devalues), they make a lot of money. If the coin lands on tails (the exchange rates remained fixed), they only lose a small amount of money on loan interest. That’s the kind of bet Soros would pour money into all the day, even if he had to borrow billions.”
Soros would later recount on the bet:
“Our total position by Black Wednesday had to be worth almost $10 billion. We planned to sell more than that. In fact, when Norman Lamont [the British finance minister] said just before the devaluation that he would borrow nearly $15 billion to defend sterling, we were amused because that was about how much we wanted to sell.”
In one evening, as Europeans slept, Soros bought pounds from and sold pounds to anyone that he could. Soros’ Quantum Fund exceeded $10 billion in pounds. Other hedge funds, seeing what Soros was doing, and reading the statement from Schlesinger, began to copy Soros and borrow and sell tremendous amounts of pounds. By the time London markets opened for work, tens of billions of pounds were sold. Soros, in the words of Varoufakis, “led a syndicate of speculators, pooling $10 billion, with which he took his wager against the Bank of England and sterling. His estimated profit was in the vicinity of $1 billion for a few hours’ ‘work.’” Black Wednesday is what got the British to leave the European Monetary system. Varoufakis affirms that what happened to the British sterling in 1992 was “engineered” by the German bankers. (And The Weak Must Suffer What They Must?, ch. 5, pp. 121-127)
The German Bundesbank wanted to humiliate the French by having Mitterrand’s government devalue the French currency within the European Monetary System. The French could not eclipse the supremacy of the German mark, even though Mitterrand had believed that the French franc could be locked into the deutsche mark. (See Varoufakis, And the Weak Suffer What They Must?, ch. ch. 5, pp. 123-124)
Speculators would sell billions of francs and purchase German marks. France’s central bank increased its interest rates from 7.75 percent to 10 percent. Currency traders, sensing weakness, continued to sell francs. Mitterrand and Prime Minister Edouard Balladur were hoping that the Bundesbank would come to the aid of the franc in order to maintain Franco-German relations. But the ruthless speculators were betting that the Germans in Frankfurt were going to slay the franc. And it did. The Germans refused to continue lowering their interest rates, leaving their discount at 6.75 percent, with Schlesinger saying, “we have to live with this conflict between our national duties and consideration for the outside world. It is a dilemma, and it means that not everybody applauds every step we take.” What does this show?
Germany does not care about France. She cares only for her own supremacy. This should tell us something about the true nature of this ‘Franco-German’ plan for a Euro-army. Its about German domination, and France is beneath her master.
Just weeks before the Germans killed the franc, the French were boasting about how the franc could beat the mark, only to be kept in line by their German overlords. Soon, in that very year of 1992, the European Monetary System would die, wounded by speculators and finished off by the Bundesbank. Theo Waigel affirmed that, as a new rule, the Bundesbank would not support exchange rates until weak currencies sank below 15 percent of their assigned levels. The German mark, on the other hand, could increase in value as much as 15 percent without having to revalue. As the New York Times reported:
“The decision to allow all currencies to fluctuate against each other by up to 30 percent –15 percent on either side of their central rates — effectively left the European Monetary System alive in name only. Only the mark and the Dutch guilder stuck to the old parity margins, allowing them to swing against each other by plus or minus 2.25 percent.”
The European Monetary System died. But the German financial arm remained supreme. “The reality is that most central banks continue to align themselves with the Deutsche mark,” says Horst Schulmann, a member of the Bundesbank’s Central Bank Council. Thus, the German bank kept its dominance regardless of whether or not the European Monetary System was there. Its the same with the euro. Even if the euro dissipates and European countries return to their original currencies, the German financial hand will still reign.
What will France decide to do in the future? Will it stand with Germany when her intensification in militarism finally reaches a dangerous apex? Or will France side with her Mediterranean and traditionally Catholic neighbors? To quote a line from a Stratfor report:
“With countries such as Italy and Spain battling to avoid isolation, France will be put in the difficult position of having to choose between either remaining close to Germany or standing with its Mediterranean allies.”
What we do know is that people, being indifferent to the evils of the past — or outrightly praising them — are walking the path towards repackaged Nazism. In ending this article, I would like to present a warning from Varoufakis:
“Today, Europeans assume that our continent’s dark side has been eradicated. That the European Economic Community, which evolved with the Maastricht Treaty of 1993 into the European Union, was conjured up as a bulwark against totalitarianism. While it is true that, after the war, Europeans most certainly imagined the new European institutions as defenses against another war, and another totalitarianism, it is not at all evident that the actual institutions we created were entirely consistent with this aspiration.”
There are dark forces within European Union who want to drive the earth to perdition.